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“Ice Bucket Challenge” Making an Impact

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MEDFORD, Ore. — A bag of ice, bucket of water and a link to donate are all it has taken to have the nation turn its attention to ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.

While the viral videos have been a novelty on facebook feeds and on t.v. screens, ALS Association representatives said there has been a real impact.

Wednesday, Kristi and John Scott took the challenge and passed it on to others in the community. They both know people inflicted with the disease through Kristi’s work.

Officials said Lou Gehrig’s disease is difficult to diagnose, but once confirmed, typically gives the person between 2- 5 years to live. ALS can cause paralysis from your feet to throat, impacting speaking, chewing and breathing. It’s considered a sporadic disease impacting men and women in their twenties through senior years. ALS association representatives said both those with the disease and their caretakers have enjoyed the attention. The fund raising has also come through.

“Over 32 million dollars in the last two weeks. Which, you would never dream of having such an effective fund raising campaign. This is grass roots, the ALS association didn’t start it,” said Regional Services Coordinator for the ALS Association Oregon and SW Washington Chapter Gail Gallaher.

About 30,000  people in the United States are currently living with the disease, including at least 30 in southern Oregon.

Officials said although the fad will wear off, at least ALS is known by those accepting the challenge.